DraftKings NFL: Week 14 Tournament Breakdown

DraftKings NFL: Week 14 Tournament Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings NFL series.

The first thing that stands out about Sunday's 11-game slate is the disparity between the TB-BUF matchup, which features a 54-point total, and the other 10 games, none of which have a total above 49. That will lead to a lot of Bucs and Bills stacks in tournaments. Looking at the slate as whole, there isn't as much obvious value as we've seen in recent weeks. Taysom Hill stands out at QB based on his cheap salary and prime matchup against the Jets. Keenan Allen's absence leaves the remaining Chargers in a great spot at home against the Giants. If you plan on stacking the Bucs-Bills game, make sure to add some leverage. You could do so by using a less popular lineup construction or by rostering a couple less popular players as one-offs. In general, remember to focus on passing stacks for tournaments and avoid entering cash lineups in GPPs. Every week we see multiple chalky players bust and it's the leverage off that chalk that vaults lineups to the top. Good Luck.

Note: All prices listed come from DraftKings, but most of the logic can be applied to other sites across the DFS industry. Discussion is limited to players from the "main slate" of games kicking off at 1 p.m., 4:05 p.m. and 4:25 p.m. EST on Sunday. The strategy below is meant for large-field tournaments, where payouts typically are limited to ~20 percent of lineups, with the majority concentrated at the very top.

The Games

Over/UnderRoad Team

Road Implied 

Total

Home Team

Home Implied 

Total

43Baltimore Ravens20.25Cleveland Browns22.75
48Dallas Cowboys26.25Washington FT21.75
48Las Vegas Raiders19.25Kansas City Chiefs28.75
43.5Jacksonville Jaguars17.25Tennessee Titans26.25
43New Orleans Saints24.25New York Jets18.25
42Atlanta Falcons19.75Carolina Panthers22.25
48.5Seattle Seahawks24.5Houston Texans16.5
42.5Detroit Lions16.25Denver Broncos26.25
43New York Giants16.5Los Angeles Chargers26.5
53.5Buffalo Bills25.25Tampa Bay Buccaneers28.75
49San Francisco 49ers25.25Cincinatti Bengals23.75

Point-Per-Dollar Value

These are the players with the best projections relative to their salaries — good plays both for cash games and large-field tournaments. While we don't want our GPP lineups to look like cash-game lineups top to bottom, there's nothing wrong with using a few chalky plays. These players, along with a couple passing-game stacks, tend to form the core that remains fairly consistent throughout my lineups.

Hill rushed for 101 yards and put up 27 fantasy points against the Cowboys last week. He also threw four interceptions, but that isn't necessary relevant when considering him for DFS purposes. This week's matchup against the Jets is just too good to pass up. The Jets have been the worst team in the league against the run this season and will have a tough time containing Hill. His prospects in the passing game are good too. We just saw Gardner Minshew shred this defense with relative ease last week. Hill's salary is cheap as well. He looks like a bargain for $5,600 — expect him to be very popular in cash games.

Elijah Mitchell is out, which means Wilson likely will start. Last week there was an abundance of value at RB. This week there isn't and that makes Wilson stand out a bit more. Expect him to see double-digit carries and a few targets in the passing game too. For just $4,400, that type of usage would make him viable for cash games. He's not without risk, though, as it's possible that he splits time with JaMycal Hasty ($4,000). If Hasty ends up starting over Wilson, he'd be similarly viable. With cheap value at QB and WR, it might not be necessary to go that low at RB. In that case, consider Josh Jacobs ($6,200) and/or Antonio Gibson ($6,000). Jacobs caught nine passes last week and the Raiders are banged up at every position, meaning Jacobs is in line to see big usage again. Gibson was chalky last week and his salary stayed the same. If J.D. McKissic is out again, Gibson would seem like the best value at the position based on his rushing upside and expected work in the passing game. He's still plenty viable if McKissic is back, but I expect a few less targets. 

Other Cash-Game Options

QB Josh Allen at TB ($7,800)

QB Tom Brady vs. BUF ($7,600)

QB Lamar Jackson at CLE ($7,400)

QB Taysom Hill at NYJ ($5,600)

RB Austin Ekeler vs. NYG ($8,300)

RB Alvin Kamara at NYJ ($7,900)

RB Leonard Fournette vs. BUF ($7,400)

RB Josh Jacobs at KC ($6,200)

RB Antonio Gibson vs. DAL ($6,000)

RB Jeff Wilson at CIN ($4,400)

WR Tyreek Hill vs. LV ($8,500)

WR Stefon Diggs at TB ($8,100)

WR Chris Godwin vs. BUF ($7,100)

WR Hunter Renfrow at KC ($6,100)

WR Mike Williams vs. NYG ($6,000)

WR Brandon Aiyuk at CIN ($5,800), if Deebo Samuel is out

WR Jarvis Landry vs. BAL ($5,400)

WR Jamison Crowder vs. NO ($4,700), if Elijah Moore is out

TE Travis Kelce vs. LV ($7,400)

TE George Kittle at CIN ($6,900), if Deebo Samuel is out

TE Rob Gronkowski vs. BUF ($6,000)

TE Gerald Everett at HOU ($3,500)

TE Austin Hooper vs. BAL ($3,400)

TE Jared Cook vs. NYG ($3,200)

TE Brock Wright at DEN ($2,500)

D/ST Seattle Seahawks at HOU ($3,100)

D/ST Cleveland Browns vs. BAL ($2,700)

Passing-Game Stacks

Stacks are the centerpiece of any tournament lineup, seeking to take advantage of positive correlations between players. It rarely makes sense to use a quarterback without one or two of his pass catchers, even if the player in question scores a decent portion of his fantasy points with his legs. Ideally, a stack also includes a pass catcher from the other side of the game, hoping to take advantage of a back-and-forth shootout. (Implied team totals are listed in parentheses.)

Buffalo Bills (25.25) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (28.75)

Buccaneers

The TB-BUF matchup has a 54-point total, highest on the slate by five points. It's going to be a very popular target as a result. The Bucs have scored at least 30 points in three consecutive games. Tom Brady ($7,600) threw for 368 yards and four TDs last week on his way to 32 fantasy points. He's now thrown at least four TD passes in six of 12 games this season. He's also topped 30 fantasy points in six of 12 games as he continues to put ceiling games at a high frequency. Chris Godwin ($7,100) exploded for 15 catches and 143 yards last week. He'll be a popular option this week and rightly so based on his target share and upside. The Bills are without Tre'Davious White, meaning they won't have their top corner to defend Mike Evans ($6,600) on the outside. Evans drew double-digit targets for the second time in three games and has seen his salary drop to it's lowest point in six weeks. He's now somewhat of a bargain for the multiple-touchdown upside he possesses. Rob Gronkowski ($6,000) caught two TDs last week as he scored 20-plus fantasy points for the second consecutive game. He's in the midst of a career resurgence as he looks healthier and more athletic that he has in some time. Leonard Fournette ($7,300) looks like one of the better RB options on the slate. He's caught at least six passes in four consecutive games while averaging eight targets in that span. He's run the ball effectively as well and the Bills defense just got chewed up on the ground by the Patriots on Monday. Stacking Brady with any two of these players makes a lot sense. 

Bills

The Bills are coming off a disappointing and rather embarrassing loss to the Patriots on Monday night in game that featured severe wind and saw Mac Jones attempt only three passes. Sunday's matchup in sunny Tampa is the perfect bounce-back spot. The Bucs defense is elite against the run and suspect against the pass, which sets up perfectly for Josh Allen ($7,800) to have a big game. They also blitz a lot, which should provide Allen with opportunities to run. A plus matchup with rushing upside gives him a considerably high ceiling in this spot. Stefon Diggs ($8,100) has a great matchup too. The Bucs defense is a pass-funnel and banged up in the secondary without anyone who can contain Diggs. Without Cooper Kupp and Davante Adams on the slate, Diggs is arguably the top WR. Both Cole Beasley ($5,000) and Emmanuel Sanders ($4,900) are cheaper than we've seen in recent weeks. Both have underperformed lately but still viable in stacks. I'd prefer Beasley based on his potential to draw 10 targets. I'd rather just save the salary and take a chance on Gabriel Davis ($3,500). He's drawn at three targets in four consecutive games and has big-play potential as a deep threat. It isn't necessary to roster a second WR with Allen and Diggs, however. Rostering them with Dawson Knox ($5,000) might be the better option. Knox had a couple key drops on Monday night but is a good bet to rebound against a Bucs defense that's allowed the third-most receptions to TEs. Expect Knox to see plenty of targets, especially if Tampa Bay is going to blitz. Pairing Allen and Diggs with a Buccaneers WR and possibly another Bills pass-catcher is my preferred stack.

  • Favorite Stack: QB Allen + WR Diggs + WR Godwin/WR Evans +/- TE Knox

Las Vegas Raiders (19.25) at Kansas City Chiefs (28.75)

Chiefs

This stack is mostly about the Chiefs side but the Raiders have two appealing options to run it back with. Kansas City crushed Las Vegas 41-14 in Week 10. Patrick Mahomes ($8,000) threw for 406 yards and five TDs in that game as he put up 39 fantasy points. The Chiefs play at the third-fastest neutral pace in the league and when they lead by seven-plus points, no team has played faster this season. They're not going to be overly popular this week either, which is part of the appeal. Tyreek Hill ($8,500) is coming off his worst game of the season, as he caught only two passes. A matchup against the Raiders looks like a good spot to bounce back. Hill has 18 catches, 185 yards and three TDs in his last two against Las Vegas. Travis Kelce ($7,400) is in a great spot too. Only the Eagles have given up more fantasy points to TEs this season. Byron Pringle ($3,200) has drawn 11 targets the last three weeks as he's eclipsed Mecole Hardman ($3,900) for the No. 2 WR role. It isn't necessary to pair Mahomes with anyone besides Hill and/or Kelce, however. In the matchup against Las Vegas three weeks ago, Mahomes targeted the RB often to combat the pass rush and two-deep zone. If they opt for a similar plan Sunday, Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($6,100) could be in for a big game. Pairing him with Mahomes and a pass-catcher would be all the leverage you need as most people don't pair the QB and RB in game stacks. 

Raiders

I wouldn't stack the Raiders, but they do have two of the more appealing options on the slate in terms of point-per-dollar value. Josh Jacobs ($6,200) caught nine passes last week while playing 85 percent of the snaps. With Kenyan Drake and Jalen Richard out, Jacobs is in line for heavy volume again. Hunter Renfrow ($6,100) has topped 100 yards receiving in back-to-back games and has drawn at least nine targets in four of his last five. Both Jacobs and Renfrow are among the top projected players at their respective positions and either would be a good option in Chiefs stacks. 

  • Favorite Stack: QB Mahomes + TE Kelce + WR Renfrow +/- RB Edwards-Helaire

Other Stacks to Consider

QB Patrick Mahomes + RB Josh Jacobs + WR Tyreek Hill or TE Travis Kelce

QB Josh Allen + RB Leonard Fournette + WR Stefon Diggs + TE Dawson Knox

QB Tom Brady + WR Chris Godwin/WR Mike Evans + WR Stefon Diggs + TE Rob Gronkowski

QB Justin Herbert + WR Mike Williams + WR Jalen Guyton/WR Josh Palmer/TE Jared Cook

QB Dak Prescott + WR CeeDee Lamb + WR Terry McLaurin

QB Joe Burrow + RB Jeff Wilson + WR Ja'Marr Chase or WR Tee Higgins

QB Joe Burrow + WR Ja'Marr Chase/WR Tee Higgins + WR Brandon Aiyuk or TE George Kittle

QB Taysom Hill + RB Alvin Kamara + WR Jamison Crowder

QB Taysom Hill + WR Lil'Jordan Humphrey or WR Tre'Quan Smith + WR Jamison Crowder

High-Priced Heroes

The likely absence of Keenan Allen solidifies Ekeler as the top RB on the slate. Allen's absence should lead to an even bigger target share for Ekeler, who already averages six targets per game this season. He could also see a few extra opportunities around the goal line. The Chargers matchup is quite favorable as they're big home favorites against the Giants. The likely game script sees Ekeler getting a considerable amount of second-half rushing attempts as well. He has upside for 100-plus yards and multiple TDs in this spot. 

Hill is coming off his worst game of the season as he caught only two passes on five targets. A matchup against Las Vegas should be a great spot to bounce back. Hill had seven catches for 83 yards and two TDs when the two teams met in Week 13 and he had 11 catches for 102 yards and a TD against the Raiders at the end of last season. Prior to his dud last week, Hill had averaged 12 targets in the previous eight games. That type of volume combined with his big-play ability gives him the highest potential ceiling on the slate, in my opinion. 

Honorable Mentions: Stefon Diggs, BUF at TB ($8,100); Alvin Kamara, NO at NYJ ($7,900); Travis Kelce, KC vs. LV ($7,400)

Fading the Field

Every week we see at least one or two players who are popular without the backing of a top point-per-dollar projection. In some cases it even makes sense to fade a player with a strong projection, particularly when there are good alternatives at the same position and price range.

I'm not saying Barkley is bad play. He's going to be relatively popular as he has a decent projection for his rather cheap salary. The Chargers have struggled stopping the run at times this season. I expect the Giants to get down early, though, and that would limit Barkley's rushing upside. Much of his value is tied to his expected involvement in the passing game. He had six catches last week but only for 19 yards. I don't feel comfortable relying on Mike Glennon or Jake Fromm to throw him a touchdown. His health is still a worry too. He's shown a noticeable lack of burst and breakaway speed as he continues to recover from various lower body injuries. This combined with the fact that he'll be significantly rostered makes him a good option to fade. I prefer the likes Josh Jacobs, Antonio Gibson and even Javonte Williams in that salary range. 

The Smash Spot

Without Keenan Allen, Williams is in line for a significant bump in target share. He's drawn double-digit targets three times this season and topped 22 fantasy points in each of those games. His big-play ability as a deep threat gives him a considerably high ceiling. We've already seen him put up 35-plus fantasy points twice this season. A lack of consistent targets has been the only reason for Williams' ups and downs. With Allen ruled out and a favorable matchup at home against the Giants, Williams has a clear path to 100-plus yards and a touchdown.  

Honorable Mentions: Chris Godwin, TB vs. BUF ($7,100); Ja'Marr Chase, CIN vs. SF ($6,900); Mike Evans, TB vs. BUF ($6,600); DK Metcalf, SEA at HOU ($6,400)

The Bargain Bin

QB Joe Burrow vs. SF ($6,000)

QB Taysom Hill at NYJ ($5,600)

QB Taylor Heinicke vs. DAL ($5,500)

QB Cam Newton vs. ATL ($5,400)

RB Jeff Wilson at CIN ($4,400)

RB JaMycal Hasty at CIN ($4,000)

RB Godwin Igwebuike at DEN ($4,000)

WR Jamison Crowder vs. NO ($4,700)

WR Jalen Guyton vs. NYG ($3,400)

WR Lil'Jordan Humphrey at NYJ ($3,200)

WR Josh Palmer vs. NYG ($3,000)

TE Gerald Everett at HOU ($3,500)

TE Austin Hooper vs. BAL ($3,400)

TE Jared Cook vs. NYG ($3,200)

TE Donald Parham vs. NYG ($2,800)

TE Brock Wright at DEN ($2,500)

Injuries to Monitor

Williams came in close contact with Keenan Allen (COVID-19) but is expected to play Sunday. If he were to miss, Jalen Guyton and Josh Palmer would presumably start at WR. Allen's absence makes both of them viable for GPPs already, but if Williams were to sit as well, they'd be decent options in cash games too. Jared Cook and Donald Parham would get bumps as well. 

Samuel is listed as questionable due to a groin injury. If he misses, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle stand to benefit most. The 49ers RBs would also get slight bumps as Samuel has seen increased rushing attempts in recent weeks. If Samuel plays, it would significantly lessen my interest in Aiyuk and Kittle. 

Weather

Nothing that should influence decisions this week.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Belongia
Ryan has a background in accounting, finance and poker. He's been playing DFS full-time since 2018. A multiple-time King of the Pitch finalist, Ryan's been ranked inside the Top 5 on the RG Soccer Leaderboard for three years running. Originally from Wisconsin, he moved to London in 2019 for the futbol.
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